The morning after the final battle Harry, Ron and Hermione were walking down to Hagrid's hut. It had sustained substantial damage during the battle and the three of them had decided to fix it for him. As they passed the greenhouses another trio met them. Neville, Luna and Ginny had been working on some plants for Professor Sprout who was still hospitalized.
"Where are you all off to?" Ginny asked as they approached.
"We're going to fix Hagrid's hut since no one else has time to." Harry replied with a small smile at his ex-girlfriend. He really wanted to drop that ex part.
"Mind if we join you?" Luna asked.
"Not at all." Hermione replied, "Hagrid said it's in a real bad way so we could probably use help."
Luna and Neville joined Hermione and Ron while Ginny stayed in the back with Harry. She noticed he kept glancing at her as they walked so she slowed her walking down a bit to give the other group time to get farther ahead, Harry slowed with her. Once they were far enough back Harry broke the silence.
"What for?" she was genuinely wondering which thing he was apologizing for.
"Everything." he said.
"That's a lot to be sorry for." She grinned, "I'm not sure everything is your fault."
"Maybe not everything." Harry agreed, "But I am sorry for breaking up with you and for making you worry."
"Those are things worth being sorry for." She agreed, "I accept your apology. What about trying to make me stay in the Room of Requirement?"
"No." he replied simply. Her frown made him explain further, "I wanted you to be safe. I know you know how to fight but so did many of the others who..."
"Ok I'll give you that." she agreed, "But you were fighting and could have… well you did die."
"I didn't have a choice." he sighed.
"I know." she grimaced, "At least we both made it." after a short pause she asked, "Did you meet any Veela?"
"Only Fleur." Harry held his hands up in surrender.
Ginny wrapped her arms around his waist and pulled him close. He lowered his arms to wrap around her in return. Just as he was lowering his head to kiss her shouts caught his attention. At first he thought it was just Ron objecting to them kissing. The few seconds taken by that thought was enough to let the death eaters get the upper hand. He was just raising his wand when his world erupted in pain. Spell work from near the school quickly incapacitated the six death eaters but not soon enough to stop whatever they had set in motion.
*** Harry ***
Harry woke with a start. He found himself completely incased in darkness. Like someone had thrown Peruvian Darkness powder at him. He couldn't see his hand in front of his face. He had woke from a dream where the six of them had been attacked by death eaters. On one hand he hoped that it wasn't a dream because he and Ginny had made up. On the other hand if it did happen they may have been captured in which case they would be in deep trouble. He sat up quickly and his head met painfully with a hard object. Grabbing his head he fell back to the pillow. After a few minutes he tried to sit up again but this time he went slower and felt around with his hand first. The edge his hand found had a familiar feel to it but he couldn't figure out what it was. He found a table beside the bed with his foot as he turned to sit on the side of the bed. His glasses were on the table but he couldn't find his wand. Harry put his elbows on his knees and dropped his head into his hands trying to think of where he might have left his wand. At the same time he was hoping it hadn't been taken away from him.
Deciding that it could have just fallen on the floor he pulled his hands away from his face and whispered, "Lumos."
Instead of lighting his feet the light came from above his head. He looked up hoping to find his wand and came face to face with the back side of some stairs. More specifically the stairs belonging to number 4 Privet Drive. Had he just dreamed the last seven years? He looked at himself and saw the skinny arms and knobby knees that he remembered from his youth. Falling back on his bed he was nearly in tears when he realized there was a glowing ball of light hovering near his ceiling.
His frown turned to a grin as he whispered, "At least I still have magic no matter what else might have happened I still have that. Nox."
The light blinked out and Harry tried to go back to sleep.
*** Ginny and Ron ***
Ginny woke up screaming, "Harry nooo."
"Wake up Gin." someone shook her, "You're dreaming."
She took a couple deep breaths and whispered, "Thanks Fred."
Across from her Ron was sitting wide eyed and panting slightly.
"Nightmare?" George asked her.
"Yes, Ron and I were at Hogwarts with Harry Potter and three others." She said watching Ron, "We were attacked by death eaters and Harry was hit first."
Ron nodded imperceptibly. He'd been having the same dream.
"Awww were you Harry's girlfriend?" Fred rubbed her head.
"Fred stop filling her head with nonsense. They'll probably never even meet him and if they do he'll be too important have anything to do with them." Percy said stanchly.
"Shut up." Ron growled, "Can't you see she had a bad dream. It's really made her feel bad and you guys aren't helping any."
"Sorry Ginny." the two older boys said at once.
"Let's just go inside. I'm done camping for the night." Ginny said, "Besides the sun is up, Mum should have breakfast ready soon."
The three older boys grabbed the camping rolls and headed inside. Ron and Ginny gathered the pillows and followed at a slower pace.
"Did we dream the last seven years or what?" Ginny asked.
"I don't know." Ron said, "If not they somehow sent us back to our younger bodies. I not sure which one I want to believe."
"I have to believe they sent us back." she replied, "We'd just made up."
"If they did then I think all six of us were sent." Ron said, "Harry was hit first followed by you. I was farther away by the other three."
"Either way let's make sure we change a few things." she sighed.
"Ginny you have a visitor." Molly called from the kitchen.
*** Luna ***
Gasping for breath Luna sat up and looked around. She was in her room but something was different. It took her a few moments to realize what exactly the difference was. The pictures of her friends weren't on her ceiling.
"Odd." she said as she got up on her knees.
She grabbed the hand mirror on her bed side and looked in it only to find a much younger version of her face. Jumping off the bed she quickly dressed and went to find her father. She found him working at his printing press.
"Morning Daddy." she called.
"Morning Princess, how are you doing?" he asked.
"Fine I guess. I think I've been sent seven years into the past and I'm going to talk it over with Ginny." she stated.
"Alright have fun. Are you using the floo?" he shuffled some of his papers, "Be back by dinner."
"Yes I am and I will." she called as she ran down another flight of stairs to use the floo. Emerging in the kitchen of the Burrow she spied the surprised Molly, "Moring Mrs. Weasley, I was needing to speak with Ginny is she about?"
"Luna you surprised me." Molly said, "She's just coming inside. They had a campout last night in the yard."
"How exciting." Luna said, "I'll have to have her tell me all about it."
"Ginny you have a visitor." Molly called out the window.
"Luna!" Ginny hugged her friend, "Ron was just going to help me move some of my dolls around you want to come help?"
"Ok." she smiled. Once in the bedroom Luna said, "I think I've traveled back in time seven years."
"Us too." Ginny agreed.
"That's three of us surely the others are here too." Ron said hopefully.
"What are we going to do about this?" Luna asked, "I'm sure you all want to change a few things too."
"First I want to get Harry away from the Dursleys." Ginny said, "After that I don't know exactly."
*** Hermione ***
Hermione sat up ready to scream. Looking around she sighed in relief finding she was still at home not at Hogwarts being attacked by death eaters.
"Wait one minute." she looked around again. Her pictures of her Hogwarts friends weren't on her dresser.
"Wake up dear." her mother's voice floated up the stairs.
"Must have been a dream. We've not even headed out for the hunt yet." she told herself. Reaching out to her bedside table she found her wand was missing. Sighing she decided she must have knocked it off in the night so she swung her legs off the bed. She just sat there in shock for a few minutes when she realized her feet didn't reach the ground. Finally she jumped down and ran to the mirror on the back of her door.
"I'm eleven." she whispered, "How in the world am I eleven again. Could that attack really have happened? Time travel isn't out of the realm of possibility, but I'm eleven."
"Hermione are you up?" the voice called again.
"Be down in a minute." she called back.
She quickly set about her morning routine and sighed when she got to her hair. Magic products really made this mess much simpler to deal with. She wondered idly for a moment if Harry had ever tried any of them. That thought brought her up short. She wondered how many of the others were here. They had all been attacked at the same time could they have sent them all here.
"I've got to get Harry out." she stated firmly.
"Breakfast is ready Hermione." her mother called again.
"Coming." she turned and left the room trying to decide how she was going to accomplish the task she had set for herself.
Neville tried to roll out of the way of the curse the death eater had thrown at him. Instead he just fell out of bed.
"Neville are you awake?" he heard his Grandmother call.
"I am now." he called back.
"Are you alright?" she asked.
"Nightmare and fell out of bed." he replied.
"Well get dressed nicely we're going to visit Frank and Alice today." she instructed.
"Ok." he called back still half asleep. He got going and headed for the shower.
It wasn't until he tried to reach for a towel that he noticed a difference. It was in the wrong place, several inches too high he thought. Shrugging he dried off and dressed then opened the door to go down for breakfast.
"Don't buy him a wand." he heard his Uncle say, "He doesn't have enough magic to qualify the expense."
"I'm not going to." She replied, "He can use his father's just fine. We talked it over yesterday and he agreed."
"Don't know why you're even bothering he won't get a letter." Algie stated, "That one's a squib through and through. Complete waste I say."
"You don't know what you're talking about." Augusta harrumphed, "I think you're just jealous he has more magic than you."
"Not one single bout of accidental magic." Algie pointed out.
"Because I don't need it." Neville interrupted his uncle, "I'll do just fine thank you. Gran I want a wand to fit me. My best bet is to purchase it. I'll agree to take Dads to Mr. Ollivander to see if it will work but I'll buy one myself if it doesn't."
"Neville we already discussed this." Augusta pointed out.
"No you told me I'd use Dad's wand." Neville said, "You never asked my opinion or what I wanted. If Mr. Ollivander says it will work then I'll use it."
"Neville once you prove yourself…" Algie was the one to start this time.
"I won't be able to prove myself if the wand won't work for me." Neville stated hotly. A few dishes rattled in the cupboards, "I will get a wand."
"Ok." Augusta agreed glancing at the cupboards, "After you get your letter."
As Neville walked back to his room he wondered to himself, "How in the world did I end up being eleven again? I need to talk to Hermione."
*** Dursley household ***
Late in the morning the phone began to ring. Petunia sighed. She was in the middle of cooking and couldn't stop. Harry happened to walk in the back door at that moment so she chose to glare at him, "Answer the phone. If you're not polite I'll make sure you regret it."
"Yes Aunt Petunia." Harry sighed and went into the hall and picked up the phone, "Dursley residence."
"Harry?" a familiar voice questioned.
"Hermione?" he asked in wonder.
"Thank goodness you remember me." she said, "I thought I was the only one."
"We really did come back then." he said, "I thought I was going crazy except I still could do... stuff."
"What have you been able to do?" she asked.
"I can light up a room." he said, "I thought I had dropped… it and called out so the tip would light. It's not here of course but my room lit up."
"Cool." she said, "Now how are we going to get you out of there."
"If I can hold on until my birthday I'll send a letter." he whispered.
"That's still a week away." she argued.
"I survived last time, I'll do it again." Harry heard his Aunt call him, "I've got to go."
"Be careful." she said just before he hung up.
"Who was it?" she demanded.
"Wrong number." Harry answered, "They were sure this was the Dustan residence."
"Fine get back out to work then." she grumbled.
"Fine." he responded.
On the morning of his birthday Harry quickly cooked breakfast and headed into the back yard before the mail could arrive. He stood just out of sight of the kitchen and waited to see if an owl would approach him. It did and he pulled the letter off and then attached his reply that he had been working on for the last week. It was a fairly long letter and not quite the truth, but it got his point across. He assuaged his guilt at lying because it had happened, just not today.
Another owl winged its way into Minerva's office. This one bore a reply that looked to be quite long. She pulled it open and read it twice before going to the floo and calling for the headmaster.
"What's wrong?" he asked when he arrived.
"I have a reply from Harry Potter." she said.
"Excellent." he clapped his hands together.
"You would think that this would be good news but… let me read it to you." she sighed, "Dear Professor McGonagall. Thank you for your generous offer to come to your school. I foresee a few problems with this. First I've never heard of letters being delivered by owl, is that normal at your school? I don't have one myself so I think communication will be difficult."
"Advanced language skills." Albus nodded.
"Second my aunt and uncle hate magic so badly I'm not allowed to even say the word. They also don't believe in magic so I think convincing them to let me go will be difficult. I would advise strongly for you to not come to the house but continue with the letters. I'd hate to think what Uncle Vernon would do to someone claiming to be a wizard. He already tells me I'm a burdensome freak and he doesn't even know I'm one. My third problem is where and how do I get supplies? I also have questions about platform 9 ¾ because every platform I've ever seen are whole numbers no fractions." She chuckled a bit at that part, "Sorry for the smudges on the paper I was pulling weeds when the owl came so my hands are a bit dirty. I would very much like to attend this school. I have more questions but I have to stop writing now. My uncle says it's time I start painting the house. Best regards, Harry Potter."
"That doesn't sound good." Albus frowned.
"You think?" she growled, "They tell a child he is a burdensome freak. He's pulling weeds and painting the house in one day at the age of eleven. And he fears for our safety if we approach his uncle. I think not sounding good is a bit of an understatement."
"I'll check it out." he agreed.
"We will check it out, with Poppy." she decreed.
"Fine we'll head to Surry around eight." He sighed.
*** Dursley residence***
"You ungrateful lump." Vernon shoved Harry into the cupboard under the stairs so hard he bounced off the wall and back into the door as it slammed shut behind him.
Harry rubbed the lump that was forming on his head with his left hand because his right arm was hurting too much to move. Vernon had caught Harry returning the pen to the kitchen drawer. He was being punished for using expensive ink that was not meant for freaks.
"He's a stupid lump." Harry thought to himself, "I think my arm is broken." He also could feel several bruises forming and the lump on the back of his head was still growing, "I should have been more careful."
He pulled himself onto his cot and closed his eyes to rest. He had no idea how much time had passed when he heard his name. He pulled himself up and tried to go to the voice. He thought Uncle Vernon was yelling for him. He ran into the door and bounced off and back to the cot. He hit his elbow on the wall when he fell back this time. He heard the locks being undone and a hand grabbed his and gently pulled him out of the cupboard. His unfocused eyes saw Madam Pomfrey before he fell to the side. He was caught before he hit the floor and within a few seconds his mind was clearing.
"Concussion, broken arm, multiple bruises, fractured wrist." Poppy grumbled as she waved her wand around fixing his injuries.
He was confused by the activity. Why were the professors and school healer at Privet Drive? His mind evidentially wasn't completely clear when he asked, "What are you doing here?"
"Sorry Harry." he turned to see Dumbledore squatting down by him, "I'm Professor Dumbledore. These fine ladies are Madam Pomfrey and Professor McGonagall."
"From the school." Harry stated his mind clearing enough for him to remember what had been happening. He remembered writing the letter.
"That's right." Minerva said from his other side, "Can you tell me what happened to you?"
"I was being punished." Harry said, "I'd taken a pen from the drawer and Uncle Vernon caught me trying to return it. He said freaks shouldn't use expensive pens."
"The boy is obviously not in his right mind." Harry heard his uncle proclaim.
"Sorry Uncle, I hit my head on the door when you closed it behind me." Harry sounded apologetic but he wasn't really. He wanted to use this opportunity to his advantage as much as possible.
"Tell me more about when you hit your head." Poppy suggested nicely.
"I bounced off the wall and fell back to the door as he was closing it. I hurt my arm on the wall and my head on the door." he answered.
"And when did your wrist get hurt?" she prompted.
"I don't know." Harry said, "I didn't feel anything."
"Does it hurt now?" she asked.
"A little bit." he answered truthfully, "My head is kind of taking all my attention right now."
"I need to take him back with us." Poppy declared, "I don't have all I need to heal him and he can't stay here regardless."
"Do I have to come back?" Harry asked, "I don't want to come back."
"But it's your home." Albus stated.
"This place has never been a home to me." Harry declared. He felt a slight shiver in the air after he had said his piece.
"We'll just be leaving then." Albus sighed not knowing that Harry knew exactly what he had done. The blood wards were down and nothing could bring them back. Number four Privet Drive was no longer a safe place for Harry Potter.
"I'll just get his things." Minerva said and then looked into the cupboard.
"Nothing in there is his. Nothing in this house goes with him." Vernon declared.
"There is nothing that I would want." Harry admitted.